NLR Blue’s fast start too much for Bryant White to overcome

The North Little Rock Blue Charging Wildcats eighth grade team popped a trio of 3-pointers in the first three minutes of their game against the Bryant White Hornets Thursday night at the Bryant Middle School gym, on their way to an 11-0 lead.

The Hornets never led in the game as Blue forged a 40-27 victory. It was just the fourth loss of the season for Bryant White, now 14-4, but their second in a row. They’ll try to finish off their season on a more positive note on Thursday, Feb. 6, against Conway White.

“They came out shooting the ball really well,” acknowledged Hornets coach Richard Wrightner “They shot it against our 2-3 zone. We went to a man and they drove right past us a few times. We went to a 1-3-1 zone and they shot the ball again.

“Our press wasn’t working,” he continued. “They were just in the right spots at the right time every single time that we pressed. We got gassed. They didn’t. They beat us in transition. It was their night. 

“I told my guys, there’s nothing to hang you head over,” the coach said. “It happens at every level of basketball.”

The Hornets responded after getting down 11-0, sparked by a 3 from Jamison Lewis. Kellen Robinson scored as he was fouled. And when he missed three free throw, T.J. Lindsey rebounded and scored to make it 11-7.

That was the score going into the second quarter, which started with the Cats rolling to a 10-0 run before a three-point play by Lindsey. Robinson followed with another three-point play to cut it to 21-13.

And on late baskets by Robinson and Mytorian Singleton, the margin was just 23-17 at the half.

The third quarter was the game-changer. The Hornets managed just 3 points, a free throw by Robinson and a basket by Lindsey later. It was 33-20 going into the fourth quarter then North Little Rock scored the first two baskets of the fourth.

That left the Hornets looking up out of a 37-20 hole. Lindsey hit a 3 then Robinson drove for a basket to whittle the lead to 12 going into the final three minutes but the Hornets just couldn’t get any closer.

“They hit three 3’s in the first quarter. That’s tough,” Wrightner said. “We tried to switch it to ‘man’ to kind of slow them down. We changed the tempo a little bit, got them out of their rhythm a little bit, but they still found the answer. I told the kids, that’s basketball.

“I’m proud of them,” he added. “We fought hard. We’ve still got some things to work on, one more game left. We need to finish the season strong.”

CHARGING WILDCATS 40, HORNETS 27

Eighth grade

Score by quarters

NLR Blue         11        12        10        7 — 40

Bryant White  7          10        3          7 — 27

CHARGING WILDCATS 40

Collins 2-6 2-4 6, Griffin 1-5 2-3 4, Frazier 5-9 2-2 15, Ushery 3-8 0-0 8, Britton 3-7 1-3 7, Muhammad 0-0 0-0 0, White 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-35 (40%) 7-10 (70%) 40.

HORNETS 27

Singleton 1-7 0-0 2, Newton 0-2 0-0 0, Robinson 4-13 2-4 10, Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Lindsey 4-6 0-0 10, Ford 1-5 0-0 2, Lewis 1-6 0-0 3, Johns 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 0-1 0-2 0, Coger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-43 (26%) 2-6 (33%) 27.

Three-point field goals: Bryant White 2-15 (Robinson 2-4, Nelson 0-2), North Little Rock Blue 5-13 (Frazier 3-6, Ushery 2-4, Britton 0-2, Griffin 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant White 15, North Little Rock Blue 12. Rebounds:Bryant White 20-12 32 (Lewis 4-5 9, Robinson 2-5 7, Lindsey 5-2 7, Singleton 4-0 4, Nelson 2-0 2, Johnson 1-0 1, team 2-0 2), North Little Rock Blue 15-13 28 (Collins 4-6 10, Griffin 5-1 6, Britton 2-1 3, Frazier 1-1 2, Ushery 1-1 2, Muhammad 1-0 1, team 1-3). Team fouls: Bryant White 11, North Little Rock Blue 13.



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